McLaren mechanic who caused Button's retirement at Monaco has kept his job
18 May 2010

The McLaren mechanic who was at fault for Jenson Button's retirement at the Monaco GP on Sunday has kept his job, according to team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Button was forced to retire with an engine failure after the mechanic forgot to remove a cooling bung from one of his car's sidepods on the grid.

Whitmarsh said the mechanic was "devastated", but he would remain with the team despite his error.

"When you are trying to do your best and you make a mistake it is devastating," he said.

Button's engine failure meant he lost the lead of the world championship to Mark Webber and slipped down to fourth in the standings. The reigning world champion was initially angry at the error, but accepted that mistakes happen.

"I'm sure the guy who did not pull it out is gutted," he said. "I feel sorry for the guy. We all make mistakes."

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Comments
22

18 May 2010

Good decision. You don't sack a driver for being a spanner and crashing unnecessarily...cough - Trulli - cough, everyone's allowed one 'big one'. Besides, he'll now be the most dedicated and hard working mechanic in F1.

If he does it again, shoot him! :)

18 May 2010

Why dont they colour them bright yellow or something so they stand out like a sore thumb, with an army of mechanics,engineers etc, surely someone saw the dam thing!!!!

18 May 2010

And nobody else on the grid noticed ..... none of the swarm of bee's working for McLaren noticed ... yep, good that he has kept his job. He made an error, the rest of his team mates also made an error by being so focused (or jobsworth if you like) they could not see anything outside their direct duty. Council tastic.

18 May 2010

Even though I'm a big F1 fan, I think everyone should get a life! To be "devastated" because you caused a driver to retire early (when he might have done so anyway) is to not see the bigger picture about life. One is 'devastated' if one loses a loved one, or perhaps throws away a winning lottery ticket, maybe even loses a cherished long-term job. But just being responsible for this should be met with a shrug of the shoulders. Chit happens, it's no big deal at all. The very moment that happened, people all over the world were suffering terrible things. For crying out loud, it's just a bloke driving something that resembles a car around the worst racing track in the world - with the eventual winner a foregone conclusion.

In short then - 'get real'.

18 May 2010

[quote golfman]

Even though I'm a big F1 fan, I think everyone should get a life! To be "devastated" because you caused a driver to retire early (when he might have done so anyway) is to not see the bigger picture about life. One is 'devastated' if one loses a loved one, or perhaps throws away a winning lottery ticket, maybe even loses a cherished long-term job. But just being responsible for this should be met with a shrug of the shoulders. Chit happens, it's no big deal at all. The very moment that happened, people all over the world were suffering terrible things. For crying out loud, it's just a bloke driving something that resembles a car around the worst racing track in the world - with the eventual winner a foregone conclusion.

In short then - 'get real'.

[/quote]

+1

18 May 2010

[quote 230SL]

Even though I'm a big F1 fan, I think everyone should get a life! To be "devastated" because you caused a driver to retire early (when he might have done so anyway) is to not see the bigger picture about life. One is 'devastated' if one loses a loved one, or perhaps throws away a winning lottery ticket, maybe even loses a cherished long-term job. But just being responsible for this should be met with a shrug of the shoulders. Chit happens, it's no big deal at all. The very moment that happened, people all over the world were suffering terrible things. For crying out loud, it's just a bloke driving something that resembles a car around the worst racing track in the world - with the eventual winner a foregone conclusion.

[/quote]

-1

These guys literally live and breathe their job - it is their life. Let's face it they are away from home for well over half the year. They have probably sweated blood to get into F1 and judging by all the teams' reactions when things go well (or not so well) you'd have to conclude they are very passionate about it. Given that, to know you are personally responsible for the car blowing up within a few laps of the start probably is devastating knowing what the mechanic has personally staked to get his job and the stakes involved from the team perspective. So to say that he should shrug his shoulder and have a 'chit happens' (sic) attitude is a bit naive. I am sure this guy was gutted/devastated/upset etc as the report says and rightly so.

Love the smell of a V8 in the morning.

18 May 2010

As Buttons' qualifying was poor and the prospects didn't look good for him anyway, maybe this issue saved him from a mauling from our wonderful press.

As far as the mechanic goes, at least he won't do that again, and as they always say in F1, they win and lose as a team. At least no one was hurt. Remember when Ferrari released Massa from a fuel stop with the hose attached and sprayed burning fuel down the whole pitlane.

18 May 2010

On the basis that a lot of teams pay bonuses based on the number of points earned in a season, that mistake could cost whole team. Also if Jensons failure to finish in the points costs him the championship, then that's another worry too. Often descriptions of seasons boil down to "If he'd got the points in that race he might've won the championship". If that race is the one where you didn't do your job, then that's a lot of pressure to live with.

As an engineer your entire job is geared to making sure the car is in a fit state for the driver to go out and extract the maximum from it. So if you fail that, you've not done your job, the effect of your error is broadcast on tv worldwide and it's discussed in all the motoring columns and forums. It's not quite the same as an anonymous office job.

Although losing a loved one is devastating, in a high pressure job where every one is a key part of the team, a simple mistake can be too. To the people that work in F1 it's not just a job, it's not just a bloke driving a car, it's their life. It's a huge commitment of time and the pressure to display excellence at all times is immense. I can't imagine the mechanic turning round to his team and saying "It's no big deal, people all over the world are suffering". He'd definitely have to leave if he did that. What may be worse, is he might have been the bloke that left the monitor remote control in the car too...

18 May 2010

losing your job as an top team F1 mechanic IS like losing a winning lottery ticket.

18 May 2010

Some people on this forum haven't got kids, haven't had major things happen in their life, cannot distinguish between what's real and imaginary, and must generally go about their lives in serene ignorance.

Oh, and 'Foilball', learn how to use 'sic'. You use it when the writer has made a mistake, and you don't want to repeat it. As posters on this forum, we cannot get away with writing the word that was intended, but not used. Understand?

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